Indiscretion Reproved, But Not Punished

By The Provost Of Wastennes.

_Of a woman who heard her husband say that an innkeeper at Mont St.

Michel was excellent at copulating, so went there, hoping to try for

herself, but her husband took means to prevent it, at which she was much

displeased, as you will hear shortly._

Often a man says things for which he is sorry afterwards, and so it

happened formerly that a good fell
w who lived in a village near Mont

St. Michel, talked one night at a supper, at which were present his

wife, and several strangers and neighbours, of an inn-keeper of Mont

St. Michel, and declared, affirmed, and swore on his honour, that this

inn-keeper had the finest, biggest, and thickest member in all the

country round, and could use it so well that four, five, or six times

cost him no more trouble than taking off his hat. All those who were at

table listened to this favourable account of the prowess of mine host

of Mont St. Michel, and made what remarks they pleased about it, but the

person who took the most notice was the lady of the house, the wife of

the man who related the story, who had listened attentively, and to

whom it seemed that a woman would be most happy and fortunate who had a

husband so endowed.

And she also thought in her heart that if she could devise some cunning

excuse she would some day go to Mont St. Michel, and put up at the inn

kept by the man with the big member, and it would not be her fault if

she did not try whether the report were true.

To execute what she had so boldly devised, at the end of six or eight

days she took leave of her husband, to go on a pilgrimage to Mont St.

Michel; and she invented some clever excuse for her journey, as women

well know how to do. Her husband did not refuse her permission to go,

though he had his suspicions.

At parting, her husband told her to make an offering to Saint Michael,

and that she was to lodge at the house of the said landlord, and he

recommended her to him a hundred thousand times.

She promised to accomplish all he ordered, and upon that took leave and

went away, much desiring, God knows, to find herself at Mont St. Michel.

As soon as she had left, the husband mounted his horse, and went as fast

as he could, by another road to that which his wife had taken, to Mont

St. Michel, and arrived secretly, before his wife, at the inn kept by

the man already mentioned, who most gladly welcomed him. When he was in

his chamber, he said to his host,

"My host, you and I have been friends for a long time. I will tell you

what has brought me to your town now. About five or six days ago, a lot

of good fellows were having supper at my house, and amongst other talk,

I related how it was said throughout the country that there was no man

better furnished than you"--and then he told him as nearly as possible

all that had been said. "And it happened," he continued, "that my wife

listened attentively to what I said, and never rested till she obtained

permission to come to this town. And by my oath, I verily suspect that

her chief intention is to try if she can, if my words were true that

I said about your big member. She will soon be here I expect, for she

longs to come; so I pray you when she does come you will receive her

gladly, and welcome her, and do all that she asks. But at all events do

not deceive me; take care that you do not touch her. Appoint a time

to come to her when she is in bed, and I will go in your place, and

afterwards I will tell you some good news."

"Let me alone," said the host. "I will take care and act my part well."

"At all events," said the other, "be sure and serve me no trick, for I

know well enough that she will be ready to."

"By my oath," said the host, "I assure you I will not come near her,"

and he did not.

Soon after came our wench and her maid, both very tired, God knows;

and the good host came forth, and received his guests as he had been

enjoined, and as he had promised. He caused mademoiselle to be taken to

a fair chamber, and a good fire to be made, and brought the best wine

in the house, and sent for some fine fresh cherries, and came to banquet

with her whilst supper was getting ready. When he saw his opportunity,

he began to make his approaches to her, but in a roundabout way. To cut

matters short, an agreement was made between them that he should come

secretly at midnight to sleep with her.

This being arranged, he went and told the husband of the dame, who, at

the hour named, went in mine host's instead, and did the best he could,

and rose before daybreak and returned to his own bed.

When it was day, the wench, quite vexed and melancholy, called her maid,

and they rose, and dressed as hastily as they could, and would have paid

the host, but he said he would take nothing from her. And with that

she left without hearing Mass, or seeing St. Michael, or breakfasting

either; and without saying a single word, returned home. But you must

know that her husband was there already, and asked her what good news

there was at Mont St. Michel. She, feeling as annoyed as she could be,

hardly deigned to reply.

"And what sort of welcome," asked her husband, "did mine host give you?

By God, he is a good fellow!"

"A good fellow!" she said. "Nothing very wonderful! I will not give him

more praise than is his due."

"No, dame?" he replied. "By St. John, I should have thought that for

love of me he would have given you a hearty welcome."

"I care not about his welcome," she said. "I do not go on a pilgrimage

for the sake of his, or any one else's welcome. I only think of my


"Devotion, wife!" he answered. "By Our Lady, you had none! I know very

well why you are so vexed and sorrowful. You did not find what you

expected--that is the exact truth. Ha, ha, madam! I know the cause of

your pilgrimage. You wanted to make trial of the physical gifts of our

host of St. Michel, but, by St. John, I was on my guard, and always will

be if I can help it. And that you may not think that I lied when I told

you that he had such a big affair, by God, I said nothing but what is

true. But you wanted something more than hearsay evidence, and, if I had

not stopped you, you would in your 'devotion' have tried its power for

yourself. You see I know all, and to remove any doubts you may have

on the subject, I may tell you that I came last night at the appointed

hour, and took his place--so be content with what I was able to do, and

remain satisfied with what you have. This time I pardon you, but take

care that it never occurs again."

The damsel, confused and astonished at being thus caught, as soon as she

could speak, begged his pardon, and promised never to do anything of the

sort again. And I believe that she never did.